Sunset State Beach Campground

Santa Cruz County


Sunset Beach


Campground at Sunset State Beach, CA

Sunset State Beach Campground

Santa Cruz - Monterey Beach Attractions

Visitors to the Santa Cruz - Monterey coast enjoy beautiful beaches and rugged scenery. Campers at Sunset State Beach Campground enjoy nice campsites on the bluff away from the ocean.

  • Don't miss Point Lobos State Park for all its wildlife and scenic vistas. There are also many more wonders to be enjoyed all the way down the Big Sur coast.
  • Try to get to the Begonia Festival on Labor Day weekend at Capitola Beach.
  • Surfing is popular at Santa Cruz's famous Steamer Lane as well as to the south at Carmel.
  • Excellent pier fishing can be enjoyed at Santa Cruz's well-developed wharf as well as at the Capitola's pier and the popular Seacliff Beach pier.
  • Visit beautiful Sand Dollar Beach and Jade Cove.
  • Enjoy the beauty of the waterfall at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.
  • See the green sand and the spectacular rocks at Pfeiffer Beach.

Key Sunset State Beach Campground Regulations

  1. Do not feed or leave food out for wildlife.
  2. Dogs are not allowed on the beach. In the campground they must be on leash and attended at all times.
  3. Generators may only be operated from 10 AM to 8 PM.
  4. No effluent, gray or fresh water may be discharged onto the ground.
  5. For safety, stay on the hiking trails as the bluff walls are subject to erosion.

Sunset State Beach Campground

Sunset State Beach in southern Santa Cruz County has long been a popular camping destination. Visitors to Sunset Beach enjoy big, rolling waves, miles of sand to walk, trails, and a few surprises such as the glider port for remote control model gliders. Whale watching from atop the bluffs is popular in the winter.

Sunset State Beach Campground is up on the bluffs, sheltered from the wind. Most campsites are among the trees. Sunset State Beach Campground has 85 campsites, divided into 3 sections - Dunes Camp, Pine Hollow Camp, and South Camp. Nine of the campsites are limited to RVs or trailers and another 11 are tent-only sites. The rest can accommodate RVs, trailers, and tents. There is also a Group Campsite and a Hike & Bike campsite.

Changes in California State Parks Reservation System

California State Parks is switching to a new reservation system beginning August 1, 2017. ReserveCalifornia will replace the previous ReserveAmerica. "Beginning on midnight July 26, 2017, the website and telephone reservations for California's state parks will be temporarily offline to prepare for the exciting launch of the new system on August 1. During this time, all existing reservations will be honored. An electronic or hard copy from ReserveAmerica will need to be presented to State Parks staff when checking in for reservation made prior to July 26, 2017."

Sunset State Beach Campground Basics
Sunset State Beach Campground Location: 4½ miles west of Watsonville; San Andreas Road exit off Hwy. 1, go south to Sunset Beach Rd
Campground Open: year-round
Number of Sites: 90
Max. People per Site: 8 (including children)
Vehicles per Site: 2 (one driven and one towed)
Pets: On leash, always attended
Information: (831) 763-7062

Reservations at Sunset State Beach Campground
Reservations available South Camp and Group Camp are open to reservations year-round.
Dunes and Pine Hollow are only open from mid-March through October.
Booking Window: Reservations taken from 2 days up to 7 months in advance of arrival.
New dates are released in 1-month blocks on the first of each month.
Maximum Vehicle Length: 31 feet
wheelchair accessible Sites: #33, 38, 53, 80
Fees: Standard sites - $35
Hike & Bike - $5 per person
Online Reservations at ReserveCalifornia: Sunset State Beach Campground Reservations
or call (800) 444-PARK (7275) between 8 AM and 6 PM
Check-out, Check-in: Noon, 2 PM

Sunset State Beach Campground Amenities
Campsites: Picnic table, grill, fire ring, food storage locker, no hook-ups
Campground: Restrooms with flush toilets, piped water, amphitheater
Showers: Hot showers, coin operated
Dump Station: No
Campground Map: Sunset Beach Campground Map
Attractions near Sunset State Beach Campground: Enjoy Sunset Beach with sunbathing, picnicking, surfing, and fishing. Visit nearby Forest of Nisene Marks in Aptos. Drop in at other nearby state beach such as Seacliff Beach and Manresa Beach.

ReserveCalifornia Reservations Tips

California State Parks' new reservation system - ReserveCalifornia - now allows campers "to make reservations 6 months to the day in advance of their arrival date." For example, on January 1 reservations can be made for stays beginning on July 1. In the past, reservations were released in one-month blocks. Now it is day by day. For months with fewer days than the month 6 months away, reservations for the remaining days will be released in a small cluster on the first of the next month. For example, on March 1 (because February is a short month) you can make reservations for stays beginning August 29-31. Read details at ReserveCalifornia.

Sunset Beach Group Campsite

Sunset Beach has a group campsite which can accommodate from 9 to 50 people and 10 vehicles. The group site is south of the Pine Hollow Camp.
Fee: $335 per night
Reservations: Sunset Beach Group Camp Reservations

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